Educational Leadership Development in Ontario

During 2012 and 2013, interested parties met a number of times to discuss how to address the need for educational leadership development programs in Ontario (and beyond). Those involved included representatives of Edifide, Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools, Ontario Christian School Administrators Association, Redeemer UC, Calvin College, Tyndale UC and the Institute for Christian Studies (ICS). At the last meeting of this group in May, we agreed we need to investigate the viability of the approaches suggested – specifically, offering a degree program – given the costs (among other factors) that will likely be involved. A Business Plan we prepared certainly underscored this. With the new school year underway, it is an appropriate time to survey the Christian educational community.

It is evident that a Master of Education is the preferred qualification for educators. However, such a program within a Christian perspective will take some time to develop, either as the initiative of one institution or of a consortium. In the interim, as the need is pressing, we have been considering using ICS’s Master of Worldview Studies in Education as a platform. Latterly, some have suggested using the Master of Arts (Philosophy) instead (or perhaps as well, with the MWS nested within the MA). Both degrees have proved to be suitable vehicles for developing educational leadership and related kinds of expertise within a higher education framework and can hopefully be a steppingstone to an MEd in the years ahead.

The MWS is a one-year program including an action-oriented major project; the MA is a two-year program including a thesis, which qualifies graduates to apply for doctoral studies. Many believe that the “Worldview Studies” designation is unacceptable as a professional qualification, especially in the broader community, whereas an MA has greater credibility. More detailed information about these degrees (both authorised by the Province of Ontario) can be found at the MWS webpage and the MA webpage. It is important in reading these descriptions to take into account that both programs can incorporate streams tailored specifically to educational leadership, which they currently do not.

The mode of program delivery is yet to be determined, but will probably be a hybrid of summer school and online courses, with the prospect of including on-campus semester-long courses from Christian and other institutions.

This brief survey asks you to respond to questions concerning the acceptability of one or other of these degrees for the purpose stated and the perceived willingness of potential participants and the Christian educational community to support a program financially.

Thank you in anticipation for participating in this survey.

Blessings,

Doug Blomberg
Academic Dean    
Institute for Christian Studies